Protesters storm Baghdad’s Green Zone

Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr storm parliament in Baghdad's Green Zone, Saturday, April 30, 2016. Dozens of protesters climbed over the blast walls and could be seen storming the Parliament building, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Dozens of protesters have climbed over the blast walls surrounding Baghdad’s highly-fortified Green Zone and could be seen storming into parliament, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government.

After months of protests, sit-ins and demonstrations outside Baghdad’s Green Zone — home to most ministries and foreign embassies — Saturday’s escalation marks the first time protesters have breached the compound’s walls.

Earlier Saturday, influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking efforts to implement political reform aimed at combating corruption and waste.

Increasingly tense protests and a series of failed reform measures have paralyzed Iraq’s government as the country struggles to fight the Islamic State group and respond to an economic crisis sparked in part by a plunge in global oil prices.

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